Monday, November 06, 2006


Regular visitors to these pages may have noticed a weeklong hiatus in posting. (Or hell, you may not have noticed. Well, it happened.)

I have to confess that it has not been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, and a series of blows to the head and thorax have left me in a state of bloggenschmerz that I now feel lifting.

Wonder Woman, whom I hereby nominate for beatification and, in the fullness of time, promotion to full-on sainthood, is helping to care for her father, who finds himself in the late stages of Alzheimer's. Last week we had a scare -- he appeared to be showing symptoms of pneumonia, and was remanded to the hospital. He underwent gall-bladder surgery, which the doctors warned could very easily have carried him off in his weakened state. I'm happy to report that the old bull came through it with flying colors, and, after some postoperative lethargy, seems to be improving nicely -- as much as someone with that horrifying condition can be said to improve.

One of the many lessons I've learned while watching my father-in-law slowly disappear over the last few years is simply this: write everything down.

That's not meant to be funny. It's serious advice. Write everything down. Leave words behind. Preferably a whole lot of words. Leave a record of what you thought, what you did, why you did it. People who love you will be glad you did.

Hence, this blog. Come to think of it.

Next, Wondie woke up late last week with a deer-tick nibbling away at the (admittedly delicious) skin of her tum-tum. Then, this weekend, she came down with flulike symptoms. As of this writing she's at the doctor's demanding the meds to help her fight off Lyme disease.

The question does occur: when was it, exactly, when we humans started to allow our hunting-companions to share our beds? I seem to remember that in simpler times we kept the dogs in separate quarters where their vermin could not transfer to our wives' yummy tummy-flesh. I'm not sure it was a wise decision to let them in the house, with their shedding fur and their sloppy eating habits and their throwing up disgusting things on the good living-room rugs and hogging the warm spot on the bed.


I truly haven't been able to face the blogosphere this week, so I don't know how much currency was gained by this story I read in Saturday's Washington Post:
N.Va. Boys' Championship Dream Doomed by a Moment of Vengeance

By Timothy Dwyer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 4, 2006; Page A01

The South County Raptors, a scrappy football team made up of 12- to 14-year-old boys from southern Fairfax County, were supposed to meet the Herndon Hornets today in the first round of the county playoffs.

Instead, the Raptors are at home, their season over with no possibility of a championship after a league commissioner fired the head coach and the assistant coach this week. Their offense? They moved the commissioner's son from defense to offense for the final game of the season last Saturday, an overtime win that put the Raptors in the postseason.

"Scott does not sit out on defense -- ever," the commissioner, Dan Hinkle, had warned the head coach, James Owens, in an e-mail sent before the season began about how he should play Hinkle's son, 12. On defense, the father said, "he goes in and stays in. That includes all practices, scrimmages and games. This entire league exists so he can play defense on the best team in his weight class. . . . He is my son, I own the league, and he plays every snap on defense."
I have bad memories of my Pee-Wee Football days, when our head coach gave the quarterbacking position to his beloved little blossom, and treated the rest of us proletarians like handservants to his spoiled-rotten Little Field General. I'll let you folks discuss the philosophico-ethical ramifications of Mr. Hinkle's inspiring example of fatherhood. It's what Comment threads are for. Me, I've got some tires to slash.


Oh -- and in case I don't get to say it before tomorrow: You Virginians, do take a minute out of your busy day tomorrow and pop down to your local polling station and pull the lever for Fightin' Jimmy Webb, won't you? Do it two, three times. Feels good. All the cool kids are doing it.


Tom said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your family's health problems, first of all.

I'm trying, despite myself, to give Hinkle just a teensy-tiny bit of slack because his mother had just passed, but it ain't happening. He was apparently a control freak well before now, and he's hurt his own son maybe more than anyone else. The only good that can possibly come of this is for there to be an impetus to change the system, to keep autocrats from ruining the hopes and dreams of children out of spite.

Will Divide said...

That's hard news about Wonder Woman's dad, Ned. (Isn't that Zeus, btw?) Sorry to hear it.

As for sleeping with the animals, I believe the hundred fifty years or so of separate accommodations has been something of an historical anomaly.

I'm glad she's getting the cure and that you have rejoined the ehygfct

Derryl Murphy said...

More on the football here:

Not only an idiot, but an idiot with money.


Anonymous said...

I read the story in the WaPo about that Asshat Hinkle and it gave me a sad feeling all weekend. But I'm also strangely confident that those lads on the team will give us all a lesson in grace before the last chapter of this story is written.

And I'm sorry to hear of health problems besetting Wondie and her dad. Hope rapid healing is on the horizon for both.

Mike Kretzler said...

I'm also sorry to hear of yor family's various afflictions. And thanks for taking the time out to share your lesson: "Write everything down."

One of the things I value of my grandfather is that he did that, in his own way: 8 mm films, scores of them (including rare footage of my dad as a child) and slides, hundreds of them (including shots of his time in the Aleutians during WWII). It not only helps me to remember his gallant spirit (though he'd be a stick-with-Bush-all-the-way pain-in-the-ass, were he still alive), but looking at them helps me to understand him -- and my father -- better.

Kevin Wolf said...

Ditto from me, Neddie. Hope all turns out as well as can be at the Acres.

Just lost my grandfather - the only one I knew. Granted, he was 90 but still. There's so much I wish he had written down. Or I should have sat him down at least one time and let a tape recorder roll.

I hadn't seen anything on the football story. Whoever the team's placekicker is, he needs to kick Hinkle right in the nuts.

EmmaJ said...

So sorry to hear about your family's recent afflictions: hope both Wondie and her father are recovering nicely.

One of the things I most regret is not recording my grandfather who died two years ago. He was a glorious storyteller. I wish I still had a few of his words to remember him by.

Akatabi said...

Hope they boot that cracker manque in your neck of the woods, Neddie.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

isabelita said...

So true about aging parents. My almost 89 year old mom lives with us, and although she ahs a slow moving senile dementia which mostly affects her short term memory , like what is the day, the date, there are things that are fading away. It causes heart ache, and being the main caregiver, I've found it resmebles taking care of your kid in the early years, only backwards..
Hope all are recuperating well.

XTCfan said...

Let's hope this blog will be a permanent repository of Ned's news and views ... as permanent as digital can be, anyway...

Anyway -- more on sleeping (and dying) w/animals here.